Caves and Spelunking
Caves are a natural wonder. The variety and vastness of caves give us a sense of adventure and
draw us into the excitement of exploring. Whether the cave is owned by a park or is a local hole
in the rocks we all want to know whatís inside and how far it goes into the ground.
Different parts of a cave appeal to all of us. Caves allow us to explore new and exciting rock
formations since each cave is different. Some are so small that the rear of the cave is visible
from the entrance. Other caves are so deep that no one has ever found the end. Several caves
offer historical importance such as the caves of Native Americans. While other caves offer
geological importance. Most of all, people like to see the strange and unique formations that
can only be found in caves. Stalactites, stalagmites, and columns are the most well know cave
formations that travelers want to see.
Different types of caves can be very exciting. If a traveler is willing to get wet, he can
explore underwater caves. These can be very challenging to explore since many are not accessible
without scuba diving.
Volcanic caves can also be fun as they offer more unique and strange
formations. The history of the
and how the cave was formed can be seen in this type of cave.
A traveler thatís never visited a cave before and has no
or spelunking experience should only go to a cave that is operated by a national or state park.
These caves have guided tours and safety procedures in place that make exploring fun without big
If a traveler is looking to explore caves on his own he should look for a destination known to
have many caves rather than an actual cave itself. These caves most likely wonít have tours and
guides so travelers will be free to explore with more challenge. A traveler should use caution
going to a cave that isnít guided. There are many precautions that he or she should take before
spelunking on their own. Never go into a cave without someone who has a lot of experience
spelunking. Always travel with one or more people when exploring a cave in case someone is
injured or gets stuck in a difficult area of the cave. Always bring a basic first aid kit,
as well as plenty of food and water. Flashlights, lanterns, or headlamps are necessary when going
to visit a dark or deep cave. If a traveler is going to visit a cave that might require rock
climbing, ropes and harnesses need to be available. A rope or long ball of heavy string is also
a good idea when visiting a cave that the explorer has not visited before. Tied to an entrance
the rope can be followed as a way to find the entrance to the cave again.